When Kayja Becker heard that United Dance was shutting down, she was adamant that dance not die in her hometown.
Ms. Becker grew up dancing in Invermere, revolving her life around the intricate steps of ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, musical theatre, contemporary, modern, and even hip hop.
“It’s expression and it’s art, but it’s also a great way to exercise. You will not find me in a gym, but I can go dancing for hours,” Ms. Becker says. She also credits dance for giving her discipline and focus.
She actually grew up dancing with United Dance co-owners Melyssa Stringer and Michelle (‘Meesh’) Jensen and the three are still good friends.
“When they told me four years ago they were coming to open a studio I was super excited and offered to help in any way I could,” Ms. Becker explains.
Ms. Becker began teaching dance in high school. And over the last four years, she has helped at United Dance with some guest teaching and choreography, and cheering her friends on from the sideline as they built up United Dance here. One of her favourite dance styles to teach is Contemporary, as it ties the emotions in the music to something visual.
“She’s been a great teacher and a great sub,” remarks Ms. Stringer.
Ms. Stringer says she and Ms. Jensen are excited the studio will continue on, and put their full support behind their friend’s takeover.
“We’re super excited, and it’s awesome,” says Ms. Stringer. “We’ve gotten really good feedback from parents and kids as well.”
Ms. Becker will be keeping the same name and all the current studio offerings.
“I want it to be as smooth for the kids as possible,” she says. While she wants to add programming in as time and opportunity arises, she says she does not want the current students to lose anything they were already involved in at United.
She is attending an intensive dance teacher workshop in Edmonton this July to cement her skills, then plans to offer summer camps at the end of August, with the official start of the 2019 / 2020 season beginning this September. For information on United Dance, or to see details on the summer camps when they become available, see www.uniteddancebc.com.